DIY or Die

I’ve been flattered on occasion by receiving requests to see my beloved bookcase. I’ve mentioned it in other posts, but the gist is that I built this bookcase in undergrad with my father. I saw a design that I liked but wasn’t willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for something that I was fairly confident I could make myself. So, I drafted up some plans, guesstimated some measurements, and let my dad know I would be taking over his garage. We had a friend giving away some old barn wood with the most beautiful grain and, as a mechanic and artist, my dad has every single power tool in existence and, as a mechanic and artist’s daughter, I have the desire to use them all.

As is to be expected, my measurements were a bit off so some places are a bit uneven and the fact that it’s 100% barn wood means that it weighs at least 1 trillion pounds. But isn’t that how it goes when you make something yourself instead of buying a version mass-made in a factory? I guess it’s the by-product of growing up with a handyman father, but I’ve developed quite a do-it-yourself mentality and quite prefer to make something myself instead of let someone else use the power tools and I pay twice as much. Where’s the fun in that?



Please ignore the stack of puzzles. We do love a good puzzling, but we’ve run out of space on all the other bookcases until I get into my classroom. Sadly, the front views don’t show the beautiful wood grain, but it’s there! The tippy top shelf is our ever growing record collection. As it should be, it’s at least 95% classic rock. The main top shelf is my rock star shelf. These are the books that changed my life or my perspective in one way or another (all except for The Hobbit, all of my copies of which are taller than the shelf space and, thus, aren’t compatible with this shelf). The small shelves are reserved for the books that came from my grandfather’s museum, so they hold special meaning. The bottom shelf is comprised of the other meaningful texts; these didn’t change my life, for the most part, but they are immensely impactful and worthy of frequent handling.

As much as I love getting the chance to use power tools, I also love making things that require more precision and detail on smaller scales. I fancy myself to be entirely adequate at crocheting, but I certainly like to get a paintbrush, needle, and glue gun in my hands, too, especially when the spoils leave me with a book-related pieces for my home.

The puppers is showing you my Hobbit meals painting that has decorated my kitchens through many a move. As with all homemade items, it is imperfect; the words are on a bit of a slant and two of the meals are hard to see in some lighting, but nevertheless it makes me hugely happy every time I see it. The mat was surprisingly troublesome since I cut out the letters in painters tape and spray painted it, and then it lasted through maybe 5 good rains. The wreath was made out of all 760 pages in a James Joyce compilation. No regrets.

I’m not just in it for the book references; I love a seasonal wreath but I usually hate the ones you can get pre-made at the hobby store with glitter and frou-frou all over them. To each his or her own. I personally like simple, understated, seasonally appropriate decorations. Similarly, I don’t want a mass-produced Christmas stocking, and my mother made some for my sister and myself when we were babies, so I made some for Brice and myself and cobbled one together when we adopted the pitiful pup. The pallet in the shape of Georgia was made by my husband and myself for our wedding guestbook. We puzzled together assorted pieces, I drew out the shape of GA, and the hubs cut out the pieces with a jigsaw. Lastly, my first needlepoint project was of my favorite Led Zeppelin lyrics because I love muh bae.

Does anyone else like to make their own things? Anyone prefer to spend less time and more money? Anyone want to share pics?


Filed under Book Review

18 responses to “DIY or Die

  1. I would love to get more Hobbit and LotR things, and really make my home more homey. I would love a JRR Tolkien themed house really,lol

  2. I wish I was more handy. I don’t like making stuff, but I do love trying to fix things around the house, pretending that I know what I’m doing.
    I guess your dad’s garage is like a few I’ve glimpsed in my neighborhood that has tools everywhere but real neat like in a carpenter’s shop or something.

    • Haha, neat is putting it kindly. The tools are all in the same room, but half the exercise is in finding all the corresponding parts. I love fixing things, too! It gives you such a sense of accomplishment, even if you only tightened a screw or something!

  3. I love your bookshelf! It is so unique. I am definitely a DIY girl!

  4. Wow it looks amazing!! Great job!! I wouldn’t have any idea how to do diy and would probably do myself an injury just picking up the tools, so I am massively impressed!!

  5. Those shelves are amazing! I love all your DIY projects. I wish I was more crafty!

  6. These are all so cool! Good for you for making them yourself 🙂

  7. That bookshelf is SO COOL. I love the tiny cubby section in the middle ❤ That's so impressive that you made it yourself!

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